To highlight the wonderful yet largely forgotten work of a collection of female screenwriters from the early years of Hollywood (and as a companion to the book, When Women Wrote Hollywood) we will be posting quick bits about the many films they wrote along with links to further information and clips from their works which are still accessible online. Take a few moments once or twice a week to become familiar with their names and their stories. I think you’ll be surprised at how much bold material these writers tackled at the birth of this new medium. — Rosanne Welch
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a 1920 horror silent film, produced by Famous Players-Lasky and released through Paramount/Artcraft. The film is based upon Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and starring actor John Barrymore.
The film was directed by John S. Robertson and co-starred Nita Naldi. The scenario was by Clara Beranger and the film is now in the public domain.
Dr. Jekyll, a kind and charitable man, believes that everyone has two sides, one good and one evil, otherwise considered a split personality. Using a potion that he concocted, Dr. Jekykll becomes Mr. Hyde, creating havoc throughout his town.
The early part of Jekyll’s initial transformation into Hyde was achieved with no makeup, instead relying solely on Barrymore’s ability to contort his face. In one scene, as Hyde reverts to Jekyll, one of Hyde’s prosthetic fingers can be seen to fly across the screen, having been shaken loose by Barrymore’s convulsions. The character of Millicent Carew does not appear in Stevenson’s original story, but in the 1887 stage version by Thomas Russell Sullivan starring Richard Mansfield. This 1920 film version used the play’s concept of Jekyll being engaged to Carew’s daughter, and Hyde beginning a dalliance with a dance-hall girl. — Wikipedia
Watch Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
More about Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1920)
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde on Wikipedia
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on IMDB
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at Movies Silently
More about Clare Beranger
- Read more about this screenwriter in When Women Wrote Hollywood
- Like When Women Wrote Hollywood on Facebook
- Clare Beranger on Wikipedia
- Clare Beranger on IMDB
- Clare Beranger at the Women Film Pioneers Project
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